If you’re a new beekeeper looking into keeping honey bees, you’re probably interested in beautiful golden honey from your bees.
Of course, honey has to be harvested from the hive, but how? You’ll need to use a honey extractor, and there are many different kinds to choose from. Every beekeeper has their preferences for the best honey extractor for their apiary.
Read on to discover the best honey extractor to use in every situation.
Our Top Picks
BestEquip Electric Honey Extractor 3 Frame
VEVOR Manual Honey Extractor
2 Frame Manual Honey Extractor
BestEquip Electric Honey Extractor 3 Frame
The Vevor Electric Honey Extractor is right in the middle of the road, making it the best honey extractor for many backyard beekeepers and hobbyists.
You won’t break the bank with this model, but you still get all the best features to make your honey harvest easy without unnecessary frills.
Its electric 140 W motor makes quick work of honey extraction, and it holds three frames at once. Despite how powerful it is, this honey extractor is surprisingly quiet.
It features adjustable speed and height to fit all your needs with minimal assembly required to get started. Just plug it in, put your frames in, and turn it on.
Stainless steel construction is reliable, won’t rust, and makes cleaning easy and painless. The clear lid allows you to watch your honey as it spins.
Even with a motor onboard, the entire setup only weighs 40 pounds, allowing you to move this honey extractor when you need to.
VEVOR Manual Honey Extractor
Vevor’s Manual Honey Extractor is a great option if you’re looking to spend less money and don’t mind a little elbow grease.
It works just like any electric honey extractor, but without a motor you’ll need to crank the centrifuge yourself. Not to worry, the handle is ergonomic and comfortable to use and it cranks smoothly for as little effort as possible.
It doesn’t get much simpler to operate than this extractor. Flexible feet and adjustable legs allow you to get everything lined up just right, and it will feel stable.
No motor means fewer parts, fewer potential problems and repairs, and ultimate simplicity in getting it set up.
The stainless steel drum is 24 inches by 15 inches and can hold three frames. It’s wear proof with solid, sturdy construction that won’t rust over time, and cleaning is quick and easy.
Look through the clear lid to monitor your progress.
Without a heavy motor, this honey extractor is much more lightweight and easy to move around wherever you need it. For better stability while you crank, you can attach the feet to a piece of plywood.
2-Frame Manual Honey Extractor
Beekeeping is expensive, so maybe you’re looking to save a bit of cash or you’re just getting started and want to wait before you splurge too much. DNYSYSJ’s Manual Honey Extractor definitely fits the bill without sacrificing functionality.
Despite being so reasonably priced, you can still enjoy high-quality stainless steel that will last. An added steel beam across the top adds extra stability while you hand crank to spin your honeycomb.
It holds two frames at a time, whether you’re using deeps, mediums, or shallows, perfect for smaller backyard apiaries.
This honey extractor can still hold plenty of honey in a drum that’s 28 inches tall by 14 inches wide. The bottom is cone-shaped, so honey drains out easily and none is left behind or wasted.
While you have to do the cranking yourself, the frame holders spin efficiently to make things easier for you.
The assembly of this extractor is super simple, making it easy to clean and maintain. Best of all, it’s lightweight and portable so you can use it wherever is most convenient for you.
TECHTONGDA Electric Honey Extractor
The Techtongda Electric Honey Extractor is a great choice if you prefer to let the machine do the tough work for you.
With its 110V motor, it’s efficient and powerful enough to get every last bit of honey. It even has a variable speed option so you can make adjustments as needed. Capable but simple to operate, all you have to do is plug it in and switch it on.
It can hold 4 frames at a time, perfect for both big and small backyard beekeepers alike. The barrel measures at 24 inches tall by 19 inches wide and has room for a large harvest.
Food-grade stainless steel construction means it’s easy to clean and you can expect to get a lot of use out of this honey extractor. It also won’t rust or add any metallic flavor to your honey.
Speaking of being easy to clean, the transmission box is fully enclosed to keep sticky honey out and the metal gears functioning smoothly.
Watch as your honey spins out of the frames through the clear plexiglass lid. As a safety feature, the motor will automatically shut off if you open the lid while it’s still spinning.
As a bonus, this electric honey extractor also comes with a honey filter and uncapping tools to get you well on your way.
You get what you pay for, and this piece of equipment is no different. While beekeepers on a tight budget may not be interested, serious beekeepers willing to make a big investment will love the quality of this extractor.
Happybuy’s Electric Honey Extractor
If you have a smaller apiary but you want quality without doing the cranking yourself, check out Happybuy’s Electric Honey Extractor.
Holding just two frames at a time, this is the best honey extractor for backyard beekeepers with only a few hives to harvest from. Enjoy sturdy legs that are adjustable to make the process easier.
It’s electric and makes quick work of those two frames, so extracting your honey is easier than ever. Even better, it has a high rotation speed so you spend less time extracting.
The 24-inch by 15-inch stainless steel drum on this extractor is made of high-quality stainless steel that will last for years to come. Watch it go through the clear lid.
Once the frames are spun out, drain your liquid gold through the conical bottom so nothing gets left behind.
When you’re done, cleanup is easy as can be. You’ll love this little extractor!
VIVO Electric Honey Extractor
Beekeepers with large apiaries will need the best honey extractor that can fit as many frames as possible, and the Electric Honey Extractor from Vivo is just the one. Not only does it have the capacity for more honey, but it also includes lots of little extras you’ll love.
If you have a lot of honey to harvest and you want to make the process as efficient as possible, this extractor can hold 8 shallow or medium frames or 4 deep frames.
The robust 120V motor will make sure you get a full harvest out of each frame with almost no effort. All you need is a regular wall outlet, and it even has a built-in cooling fan to keep it running as long as you need it to.
The metal gears are completely enclosed so they don’t come in contact with any sticky honey.
The large stainless steel drum measures 25.5 inches by 49.5 inches to hold plenty of honey. There’s plenty of space underneath for you to fit a 5-gallon bucket, making everything easy and seamless. The honey gate is located at the very bottom of the drum, just half an inch above the base, so not even a drop of honey gets left behind.
The clear plastic lid lets you see inside, but there’s more to it than that.
Open the lid and the motor shuts off for safety. It can be opened from either side, and a convenient magnet keeps it open for you. Close it back up and the motor automatically starts again.
Finally, you don’t have to worry about what happens if something goes wrong. This model comes with a limited 1-year manufacturer warranty and tech support to help you through any issues.
DIY Large Fruit Honey Presser Beeswax Extractor
For a lot of backyard beekeepers, honey isn’t the only product they make themselves. If you want the best honey extractor that can be used for all kinds of other things, the DIY Large Fruit Juice and Honey Extractor is a great choice.
This honey extractor works differently from more common types, using a pressure plate in place of a centrifuge.
Instead of spinning the frames, it functions like a press to crush honeycomb and squeeze the honey out. This means you can also harvest all that wax in one go, but will only work with foundationless frames. Otherwise, you can scrape all the comb off your foundations and into the extractor.
The simple stainless steel construction is easy to clean so you’re ready to make fruit juice, wine, or cider. It holds 10 liters at once with plenty of room for bigger harvests.
The detachable pieces are easy to clean. It’s both portable and sturdy, making it ready for anything.
Remember that this extractor will not preserve the honeycomb, requiring the bees to rebuild the wax.
How Is Honey Extracted?
In order to get those gorgeous jars of honey, you’ll have to get that liquid gold out of the honeycomb.
There are a few different ways to do this. Regardless of the method you decide to use, you will first have to remove the wax cappings on each cell that keep the honey inside.
Once those cappings are gone, a honey extractor will usually spin the frames in a centrifuge to pull the honey out. This preserves the wax comb structure, allowing you to give it back to the bees to reuse. It’s less work for them if they don’t have to rebuild it again.
A honey extractor is a great tool to have because it saves you a lot of time, effort, and sticky mess. The best honey extractors are easy to use, easy to clean, and will last a long time.
What to Consider to Find the Best Honey Extractor
Like just about everything else in keeping bees, there are a lot of considerations to make before you choose the best honey extractor for your needs.
Price is a major factor. Beekeeping is typically known for being a hobby that’s a bit on the expensive side, so you may be looking to save money where you can. Even still, you’ll want to make sure you choose an extractor that is well-made and high-quality.
You should also think about how big of an operation you’re running. Most backyard apiarists don’t need a huge extractor, but some hobbyists have a lot of hives and a lot of honey to harvest. Different hives also use different frames, so the best honey extractor for you will need to fit your specific frames.
Beekeeping can be very physical, and extracting honey is no different. There are options available that will make the process a lot easier for you if needed. Honey extractors can be either manual or electric. You’ll usually save money by going with a manual version, but it will mean you have to crank it yourself.
The method you use for honey extraction can take up a lot of space and get pretty messy, so keep that in mind in your search for the best honey extractor. Some extractors are easier to clean than others as well.
Other Honey Harvesting Options
The best honey extractors are by far the easiest and most efficient way to harvest honey, but they aren’t the only way.
You can also simply remove the wax cappings and let the honey slowly drip into a bucket. Turning the heat up will help speed the process along, but it will still be slow going. This keeps the comb intact for the bees to continue using.
If you don’t mind letting your honey bees start over, you can use the crush and strain method. Simply scrape and crush all the comb and strain the honey out of the wax. This allows you to harvest all that wax at the same time.
Finally, there’s cut comb. This harvesting method doesn’t require any extraction at all, but it only works if you use foundationless frames.
Instead of removing the honey, you simply cut squares of comb out. Cut comb is very desirable to people because it’s beautiful and unprocessed.
Honey Extractor Accessories
Even with the very best honey extractor, you’ll still need a few extra things before you get started.
Use a refractometer to confirm that your honey is at the right moisture level to harvest.
Rubber or latex gloves will keep your hands from getting sticky. They aren’t necessary, but they do make everything a whole lot easier.
Before you can put your frames into the extractor, you need to remove the wax cappings. There are a lot of different uncapping tools available, so it really depends on your preferences.
Use a roller to pierce the cappings and allow honey to drip through. Uncapping knives are used to slice the very top off the comb and come in both manual and heated versions. You can also try a fork or pick to get the cappings off and open up the cells.
Like everything involving honey, uncapping is messy business. Using a tub for uncapping will keep your floors from getting hopelessly sticky.
Strainers are necessary for getting any bits and pieces out before your honey can be jarred.
You’ll also need a bucket to strain all that honey into. This one has a honey gate on it for easy jarring, and it’s made from food-grade plastic that’s easy to clean. It holds 5 gallons and includes a lid so you can keep your honey stored until you’re ready to put it into jars.
You can also use a regular 5-gallon bucket and add a honey gate yourself.
Lastly, get some nice jars to put your honey in. Whether you’re keeping it for yourself, giving it away as gifts, or selling it, a beautiful jar will really make your honey look special.
Whatever the best honey extractor for you is, don’t forget to use the wax cappings! You can strain the honey off and render them, or you can soak them in the spirit of your choice.
Your empty frames will still need some cleaning, but fortunately, you can let the bees take care of that. Set them outside and the bees will go to work and leave them perfectly clean.
Find the Best Honey Extractor for You
There are so many great options for honey extractors to fit your needs, whether you have just a couple hives or a large apiary. And now that you have all that honey you might consider making honey chicken for dinner and pair it with a honey cake for dessert!
You can find extractors in a wide range of prices and sizes, both electric and manual. Find what works best for you to make the process easier and more efficient so you can start enjoying your hard-earned honey.
It’s not just about the honey, don’t miss all the other details that go into keeping honey bees!